Theme Thursday: Artificial Intelligence

So it has been what feels like ten years since I last did a Theme Thursday post. My creativity pit is mostly empty, so it takes a while to come with ideas… Anyway, while reading Aurora Burning I realized how different Magellan is from AIDAN, and thus this post about artificial intelligence was born.

I don’t know about you guys, but artificial intelligence is low key kind of creepy. I mean, how many movies have we seen, or books have we read, in which the AI goes completely haywire and kills half the world?! But then there are also the lovable AIs… Well both of these extremes will get some attention in this post!

AIDAN: The Illuminae Files – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Okay, starting with the scary kind. Actually AIDAN is probably the only scary AI I’ve ever read about… Either way, I think all of us who’ve read the Illuminae Files have this weird love-hate relationship with AIDAN. This artificial intelligence thing, that makes autonomous decisions that I guess are technically the right thing to do with regards to the mission. But, its actions at the same time are so horrible, aren’t they?

I made a whole post about the Illuminae Files, which you really only should read if you’ve read all the books. What I find fascinating about AIDAN in these books is that he sort of develops feelings. Except any time he attempts to feel them, or question them, he just goes <error> It’s interesting to think of the possibility that artificial intelligence might develop feelings like humans do. And then, will those feelings be real, or will they just be programmed that way?

Lovelace: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet – Becky Chambers

Speaking of feelings, how do we feel about romantic relationships between an artificial intelligence and humans? In this book, the AI is a bodiless entity on a spaceship, just like AIDAN. Except this spaceship is not military grade, and a LOT smaller, with only a handful of crew members. This type of AI, in this case called Lovelace, is supposed to start as a blank slate of regular good ‘ol AI. Meaning it’s just there to support the crew. But Lovelace develops a personality of her own, and interacts with the rest of the crew like any other human/alien would. I loved this book, and I wrote a review for it which you can find here!

M-Bot: Skyward – Brandon Sanderson

Ah, good old M-Bot. My favorite mushroom loving, self-flying, pacifist AI… stuffed in a space-plane. M-Bot and I are very alike, as I too, have an unhealthy obsession with mushrooms. I will eat mushrooms with EVERYTHING.


M-Bot is one of my favorite non-scary AIs, because honestly, what’s not to love? There’s enough sass for the whole room, and he honestly kind of behaves like a mother hen over Spensa. Always the responsible one. But where the previous AIs in this post can make autonomous decisions, M-Bot can’t Or won’t. I declare M-Bot at low risk to go haywire.

Magellan: Aurora Rising – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Yes, I know, more Kaufman and Kristoff. But I couldn’t leave out Magellan, our over-enthusiastic little artificial intelligence stuffed in a tiny uni-glass. My favorite part about Magellan is that he imitates feelings. Obviously, as an AI, he can’t really feel anything, as Zila is quick to point out in Book 2. His personality was bought by Scarlett at some point, and it resulted in the Magellan that we know and love. The one that always insists on happily providing unwanted advice and knowledge.

I’ll leave it at these four for now. There should be many more AIs out there, living in books. Hopefully I’ll get to read about them some day! Maybe I’ll encounter a scary AI in my future reads…

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